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A Checklist for a Checklist

Checklist Best Practices | By | 27 Jul 2015 | < 1

With so many checklists in the world and more than 100,000 just in our iAuditor public library; it’s hard to know what goes into making a checklist that actually works. Atul Gawande (author of Checklist Manifesto) has dedicated years studying their effectiveness.

He created…a checklist for a checklist, a logical step by step process to making a checklist.

The anatomy of a great checklist

Checklist of a checklist

Gawande outlines three different processes involved, including:


  • Are there clear concise objectives?
  • Is each item a critical step?
  • Have you identified the stakeholders taking part in the task, including determining who is in charge of the sign off and completion process?


  • Does the checklist have natural breaks in your work flow?
  • Is it simple and uncluttered?

Gawande points out that colours and fonts could determine whether it is effective or not.

  • Is the font sans serif?
  • Does the checklist minimize the use of colour?


  • A rather vital step is, has the checklist been trialled in a real life setting?
  • Has it had repeated trials?
  • Does it have follow-up action items?

Who knew that much effort went into creating a simple tool? Work smarter, not harder and get creating in iAuditor by SafetyCulture.

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SafetyCulture staff writer

SafetyCulture Team

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